The end of the summer season may be fast approaching, but we still have a few weeks to enjoy many of the tastes associated with warmer weather.
Gardens and produce departments have an abundance of end-of-summer vegetables just waiting to be added to your meals.
With all the readily available fruits and vegetables being harvested from gardens, now is a great time to get in the habit of eating the MyPlate way. Try using these tips to fill half your plate with fruit and vegetables at every meal.
Zucchini: Best known for bread, but don’t overlook these other great ways to enjoy zucchini:
- Grill it. Thinly slice and grill in an aluminum foil pouch with olive oil, spices and other vegetables.
- Add to salads and sauces. Dice and add to summer salads or to pasta sauces.
- Replace all or some lasagna noodles with zucchini ribbons. This will drastically lower the carbohydrates and calories in your pasta dish.
Tomatoes: Go beyond BLTs and salsa by trying one of these simple ways to serve tomatoes:
- Create a cold salad with quinoa, halved cherry tomatoes, diced cucumbers and chopped green peppers. Toss with olive oil.
- Bake tomatoes for a warm side dish. Spray or drizzle a baking dish with olive oil, slice tomatoes about ½-inch thick and sprinkle with whole wheat bread crumbs and shredded Parmesan cheese. Bake until tomatoes start to soften.
Peppers: A perfect complement to a variety of dishes. Try one of these ways to eat more peppers:
- For extra color, add sliced or diced pepper to your favorite lettuce salad.
- Grill them. Brush with olive oil and lightly season for a great way to get in a vegetable serving.
- Add to soups, salads, pizza and pasta dishes for added texture and flavor.
- Make Philly Steak Peppers. Fill peppers with thinly sliced roast beef, onion and provolone cheese. Bake and enjoy with a side of fruit for a meal in minutes.
Potatoes: A fan favorite that can be made healthier with a few simple steps.
- Try serving a baked potato bar for upcoming tailgate parties. Be sure to have lots of healthy toppings, chili, salsa, shredded cheese, peppers, chopped ham and Greek yogurt in place of sour cream.
- Swap out some of the mayo in your potato salad and cut hundreds of calories from this popular picnic dish.
The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.
Total time: 30 minutes
All you need:
- 1¼ cups farro
- ¼ cup less-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp minced fresh garlic
- 1 tbsp freshly grated peeled ginger
- 1 tsp packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp Sriracha sauce
- 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. 93% lean ground beef
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 cup sugar snap peas, thawed if frozen
- 2 cups chopped beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes (about 2 cups)
- ¼ cup finely chopped green onion
All you do:
1. Cook farro according to package directions. Let stand until cool. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, sugar, sesame oil and Sriracha sauce. Set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add ground beef, broccoli, carrot and pepper and cook 5 minutes or until beef has browned, breaking up beef as it cooks.
3. Add cooled farro and peas. Add soy sauce mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until faro is headed through. Stir in 1 cup of tomatoes.
4. Serve stir-fry topped with remaining tomatoes and green onions.
Nutrition facts per serving: 280 calories; 6g fat; 2g sat; 0g trans; 45mg cholesterol; 34g carbohydrate; 5g fiber; 5g sugar; 23g protein; 480mg sodium.
Source: Hy-Vee Balance
About the author
Hy-Vee dietitian Katie Lashier RD, LD, received a Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics from Iowa State University, as well as a minor in Health Promotion.
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